Staff Q&A: Senior Support Worker – Nottingham Night Shelter

During this uncertain time, the services offered by Emmanuel House Support Centre are more important than ever. We spoke to our team to find out how Coronoavirus has impacted their clients and the work they do with them. Below, our Senior Support Worker at the Nottingham Night Shelter explains how her role has changed and how we are responding to the pandemic.

Job Title: Senior Support Worker – Nottingham Night Shelter

What my job involves on a daily basis during the crisis: My daily work at the moment consists mainly of paperwork ensuring all our client and guest  records are up to date.  I am compiling statastics about the hotel as we go so we can see the positive impact we are having during this difficult time. I am also dealing with lots of questions and enquiries re. hotel referals and waiting lists.  I am applying for additional funding to help clients where I can and I am contacting clients by phone when that is needed. I am also working different hours.  I do three full days in a week and then I am also working on Saturday and Sunday so I can support the staff at the hotel when the Shelter Manager is not on-site over the weekend.  I am also on call every weekend and some weekdays to provide support and advice to the staff team in the hotel. Basically anything that can be done from home to help the frontline staff is coming my way.

A success I’ve had during this time: During lockdown I have applied for Universal Credit online for a client who was in the shelter and the hotel that has been housed since lockdown.  He was unable to do this as he did not have access to a computer.  The support has been ongoing as I have been responding to text messages from him and accessing his online account for him to make sure he doesn’t miss any actions or deadlines from DWP.  Normally the client would be able to do this either at Emmanuel House or at the Library.

The biggest challenge I’ve faced: The biggest challenge has been not being able to be hands on.  It was difficult to accept that I was useful from a distance.  This was harder at the beginning when things were very hectic and I knew my colleagues were getting very tired and stressed.  I have accepted now that I can help, albeit in only a small way, and there will be a time when I can be back among my colleagues.

On a personal level the biggest challenge is not being able to help your family.  We still haven’t been able to see our newest granddaughter who was born five days before lockdown.

The challenging work our team is carrying out is only possibly due to the fantastic support shown by our community. Please donate to our Coronavirus Appeal to help us to continue to support the city’s most vulnerable people.